A step ladder is a virtual necessity for any UK home. ladders come in many sizes and can be made from a variety of materials like fibreglass, wood or aluminium. Regardless of materials, there are some basic factors to consider when buying a step ladder. Here’s some important information about buying and using these essential items.

How to Buy a Step Ladder

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The time to find defects and flaws is before you climb on the ladder. If you’re considering a metal ladder, check it for dents, especially on the rungs or rails. On wooden ladders, check for cracks, chips and splits. Large knots are undesirable while small knots are generally OK. Check the ladder’s assembly. There should not be any loose steps or rails. Wooden ladders should be reinforced with metal angle braces or metal rods that attach the steps securely to the side rails. Be sure to check the stability of the ladder by standing on the bottom step and twisting it. If it feels as though the ladder might tip, don’t buy it. The legs of metal ladders should be capped with non-slip plastic or rubber feet. If you’ll be using your ladder for electrical work, choose one made from non-conductive materials such as wood or fibreglass.

Step Ladder Safety

Set up a ladder only on a surface that’s level and flat. If you need extra height, do not place the ladder on a table or platform. Use an extension ladder instead. Never place a step ladder against a vertical surface like a wall and use it like a straight ladder. ladders are designed to be free standing not leaned against a wall where such placement renders them inherently unstable. Most stepladders have a mechanism that locks the legs in place. Before climbing step ladder, be sure this mechanism is fully and properly engaged. Some stepladders have a shelf for resting tools or a can of paint. Never stand on this shelf, since it’s not designed for this purpose. Likewise, never stand on the top platform of a step ladder. Finally, never leave a ladder unattended. Lay it down when not in use.

Step ladders are highly functional items that help you to perform many tasks around your UK home. If properly used and cared for, wooden ladders, aluminium ladders or fibreglass ladders will provide decades of trouble free service.

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